10 lessons I learnt after one year blogging

This is my blog post #100 after one year blogging. I can’t believe I have been able to share with all of you a hundred of our family stories, our ups and downs, our nonsense and our achievements. Our family blog is a bit older than one year actually. It was born back in June 2013 when we just first shared with you that we were moving to Manchester,UK.

But it has been a full year of really being committed to blog regularly since April 2016. I was still on maternity leave, embracing every moment I could spend with my baby boy. Blogging has helped me to reflect, actually to ponder on many things. So whether you’re giving it a thought and you’re not sure if you should start a blog or you’re an experienced blogger who would like to look back on time, this blog post may be able to help you remember a few lessons.  If you don’t have anything to do with the blogging community but you enjoy reading our stories I hope this post will also help you in some way.

So without further a do.

Lesson #1 Blogging is much more than writing

Even if you don’t plan to monetise your blog and earn money from it, or even if you want to keep it quiet, blogging requires much more than just writing a blog post in front of your computer. Unless you don’t care at all if someone out there reads you or you’re keeping it private as a personal journal or just to be shown to a few selected family and friends, then blogging needs more hours than the ones you invest on having an idea and putting it into words.  You need to promote it on social media, be part of the blogging community, get involve, read other blogs, comment on them, create content for all your other social media channels. Look after the aesthetic of your site, the speed, and other technical issues. Create good quality pictures and/or videos. And the list could go on and on…but hey! I don’t want to discourage you with just my first lesson learnt, so please, keep reading…

Lesson #2 I want to be ME

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In the beginning of the journey you look for other bloggers, check what they write about, how they tell the story, what type of pictures they take…but after that stage of “stalking” others you realise there is no better version of yourself than being true to your own essence, to that something that makes you be YOU. Depending on the lenses you’re looking at me you might see I’m a regular ordinary woman in her 30’s but you might also find something that you can feel related too; it might be my background, my family, or any treats of my personality that I share with you on every post, whatever that may be it has kept us connected through this family blog. And because of that, I need to be ME. I want to be ME. I love how others write and tell their stories, their wittiness, their lovely pictures, but they’re not me. And after one year blogging I’ve realised that I feel much better when I’m true to myself than trying to copy somebody else.

Lesson #3 I won’t LIKE you just because you LIKED me

Written like that sounds quite mean actually, but within the blogging and social media scene there’s a “dodgy game” of “likes for likes”. So you can find out there many opportunities to join threads, posts, etc. where you will receive as many likes as you give. I tried it in the beginning and part of me felt like I was cheating… I understand people that do it, they’ve got their own good reasons, but I don’t like to play that game to be fair. I want you to LIKE me because you really do and not because you’ve got to. For me, that’s true love, isn’t?! I guess you can say I’m a bit old fashioned and romantic…haha

Lesson #4 Numbers are just NUMBERS

If you want to work with brands and companies some of them might ask you for your stats, your domain authority (none ever did to me so far) but I’ve heard they do. After one year blogging I have learnt to not be obsessed by the figures. I had a great date out when my DA was 1 and recently had a lovely event too now that my DA is 20. Have I changed? Has my family suddenly become better than it used to be when no one read our blog? NOT AT ALL. For me, success doesn’t depend on numbers, for me it depends on the “collateral beauty” ( did you watch that lovely movie with Will Smith by the way?) anyway, what I mean by that is that for me success is learning that someone felt better because of something we shared, it means touching other people’s lives through our stories.

Lesson #5 Inspiration doesn’t come unless i set up my priorities right

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For me, my main priorities in life are my family, my God, and then my other main responsibilities that kept us alive, whether it be temporally, such as work or spiritually, such as church responsibilities. I have noticed throughout this year that if I mess up with any of them, but most importantly with the first two, then my mind just gets lost and confused and seems impossible to organise my time and look after our family blog. You may not be religious at all, but what I’m trying to say with this is that as much as blogging might be important to you, decide your priorities first and stick to them, and things will run much smoother than you think. It works for me.

Lesson #6 Don’t take things “too” personal

Whether it be you were pitching to a company, trying to be selected for something, or you received an unfortunate comment by someone, remember there is a screen between you two. And the same way trolls use it to make you feel horrible you can use it the other way around and help you feel better. Brush negativism off your shoulder, shut your computer down and remember that you have an amazing family that loves you. You’re not less worthy because you weren’t selected as “blogger of the year”. I have been quite lucky to come across friendly people and readers that support and like our stories  but I have also encountered a few occasions where my words were mistaken and I felt judged and criticised. What did I do? Block, smile and move on. I can completely agree to disagree with someone, don’t take me wrong, but nobody needs to have people around that only want to bring you down.

Lesson #7 I will get happy with the success of other bloggers

What? That blogger is younger than me and is already doing that campaign?! What?? She’s writing about the same topic but seems to have much more visits than me!! WHY!! Seriously…all those questions take you NOWHERE, or well…let me tell you, they’ve taken me to sit down on my couch all grumpy and disappointed with myself, thinking, is it all worth it at the end? IT IS. If you remember your WHY, your main reason to start blogging. Then you can see others with the right eyes and understand that even those who might seem similar to you are unique in their own way, just as you are. People say it all the time, but it’s so true, comparing yourself to others will take you nowhere, it won’t let you move forward, because instead of looking forward, you are looking to the sides.

Lesson #8 Have fun! It’s a family blog not your tax self-assessment!

Unless you are an accountant and that’s like Christmas to you…This is a family blog, a place where I talk to you about my family, our adventures, our children development, our feelings and thoughts on parenting and family life. During this first year blogging I’ve had a few times when I was so focused on blogging about my family that I forgot how much fun it is to have a laugh with them and not take any pictures at all, because, hey! I need you to see it too! you know… Sitting with them to watch a movie, fall asleep with the children and hold them tight to you and don’t wake up to do other things. Our family blog is meant for us to have fun as a family, to remember, look back on time and laugh at our ordinary experiences. Find the right balance that works for you but never forget why you started all this.

Lesson #9 Take a step back when you need to

I promise you the world won’t end because you haven’t posted anything for one week. Ok, ok, it’s true the world is kinda going to an end with all the wars, crisis and political situations, but trust me if I say that if you can’t blog as frequent as you wanted to it will be fine. Take a step back, recalculate, you might want to do things a bit different, so you can still enjoy this blogging experience. I had to do that, and yes…sorry but not sorry, I don’t post as regular as I wanted to, but after being back to work for a few months things started to pile up and I needed to focus on my main priorities. I don’t want to stop sharing our stories, it is therapeutic, it is rewarding in many senses and it is a wonderful opportunity for our family memories, but I had to pull over, think about where I was going to and find the right balance for myself and my family again.

Lesson #10 I have many other lessons to learn yet

I don’t feel the newbie I felt the first few months, with all the “awkwardness” of talking to whoever else is reading this, wondering if actually any one was reading it at all or if it is was just me talking to myself. But, I have so many lessons to learn yet: for example, I know I need to not underestimate myself or my blog and say no to unreasonable approaches for some collaborations. I want to improve my photography and video edition skills, cause you know, for how long am I going to take advantage of hubby?!… I need to learn more about other social media platforms, other technical issues… But see, one step at a time, blogging is a journey not a destination.

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I could go on and on with the lessons I’ve learnt after one year blogging, but let’s stick to 10, ten is a good number, don’t you think? If you have followed us, read some of our stories, comment on our social media or by any other way our paths have come across during this year, we say THANK YOU to you from the bottom of our hearts! This has been a great experience so far and we very much look forward to the next ordinary moments that will turn into extraordinary memories!

 

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Every cloud has a silver lining -even for a 5 year old little girl

Every cloud has a silver lining -even for a 5 year old little girl. We’ve been wanting to tell you this story for a while, but as time went by we didn’t seem to find the right moment. It is something we want to share with all of you though, because we hope that if your children or yourselves go through something similar you will be able to find some answers on this post.

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We need to give you a bit of background before getting into it. You know we already learnt our lesson and decided to accept our children as they are, and never push them to do something they don’t want only for our own parents’ pride. We understand that more important than what other people think is what they feel and what message they receive from us.

So since a very young age, around 2.5 years old, we initiated our little J on swimming lessons. I’ve always taken swimming lessons myself during my childhood and one of my goals  as a mum was to make sure that my children would be good independent swimmers. She loves the water and has always been keen on some water fun. Now, let me just brag a little bit here and say to you all that she has quite a good aptitude and when she is in the right mood does it quite well. She’s progressed in such a good pace that despite being only 5 years old she’s in Stage 3 already. OK, enough boosting myself!

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She was only 3 years old on this picture! 😀

Then she started complaining about the lessons…

Around 3 or 4 months ago she started complaining about the lessons. First she kind of drown herself a little bit and swallowed too much water. She got a bit scared but she was fine. Then, she started saying that her instructor yelled too much. We explained to her it was the only way everyone could hear him well in the pool but had nothing personal against her. Then, it was more things like “I don’t like it anymore! I don’t want to do it!” In the beginning she would get upset but with a little bit of encouragement went through the lessons. We thought that was going to last for a short period of time. We were so wrong. The situation got worse and worse.

She would cry every time she had a lesson. She would cry in the lesson. One day, she almost got paralysed and was trembling in a corner. We didn’t understand what was going on. We were there watching the class so we knew it didn’t have to do with the instructor himself. But our hearts would break every week seeing her suffer so much. We didn’t want her to quit though. In the beginning our approach was more “causal -effect”. -If you take swimming lessons, you will be able to swim on your own at yayu’s home in Barcelona! , or – If you are not going to do it, we will take you out of the course then” None of these things really worked. They only put more pressure on her.

One day, I saw her there, crying, looking up right at me

One day, I saw her there, crying, looking up right at me, like begging me to rescue her from that hell she felt she was on. I said a prayer in my mind cause I didn’t know what else to do. I should have probably done it before. I made up my mind and decided that changing group would be a possible solution. We told her and she seemed pleased with that idea. We chose a day where the swimming instructor was the same person she had when she was in the initial stage. So we knew she would remember her and maybe things would change for the better.

The following week she started on this new group. New instructor and new swimming friends. We thought that was going to be it but during her first lesson she cried all the way through. This time though I had told the teacher before and therefore made a few arrangements to help her be as comfortable as possible. When the lesson was over and we were in the changing rooms she and I had a little chat. On this occasion instead of focusing on the aspect that she had cried throughout the whole lesson I tried to focus on all the positives. You know what they say, every cloud has a silver lining, oh well, that was true, even for our 5 year old little girl. I felt inspired to just focus on how brave she was, that despite not feeling like it, and crying she was able to finish the lesson and follow every instruction her teacher gave to the group. She looked at me quite surprised, like she hadn’t thought about it that way.

When we were in the car she was telling Sam all the time “Daddy! today I’ve been so brave! even though I’ve cried I still finished the lesson! next time, I won’t cry that much!” I can tell you now, the change didn’t come instantly but I know that the path we took was definitely the right one. Last week it was her third week on a row where she kept asking about her swimming lessons and was more than eager to go! She says she loves it now! She’s making good friends with her new group and loves her Instructor. If we had continue using the “causal-effect” approach she would probably had quit swimming by now.

We chose to see the silver lining

We didn’t. We chose to see the silver lining. We chose to focus on what she was doing good already and encouraging her to keep it up, the rest would come. She’s not only taking swimming lessons now she is also doing taekwon-do and will be going to her very first tournament next week. Oh you’d have to see her with all the safe guards on and jumping and kicking around! She looks so adorable. The best part? She’s loving it! She’s overcoming her fears and growing in confidence little by little.

Wouldn’t we all feel much better if we focused on the silver lining? Life will make sure to bring you down in many diverse ways but if we look at our challenges, whether it be our own or our children’s, from the right angle, the right perspective, we will be able to overcome our biggest stumbling blocks. We will be able to help our children see things as they really are. We are so happy that our 5 year old got to open her eyes and realised that she was much stronger than she thought. She realised that she could climb the highest mountains and overcome her scariest fears. Now, we are ready for the next chapter in parenting, the school where every day you take a test for something that you have never studied before! 🙂

The power in womanhood #MiercolesMudo #WordlessWednesday

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“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy, a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim”               Maya Angelou

This is my entry to the Spanish Version of #WW (Wordless Wednesday) Linky called #MiércolesMudo created by Naturalmente Mama. Just as it says in the name, it’s a post with only a picture/s with a short caption, not too many words needed.

It’ s easy to participate, you only need to publish a picture/s without writing anything to explain it. (that’s where “wordless” comes from) Then don’t forget to join the linky below and leave a comment in every blog you decide to visit. To understand how “MiercolesMudo” was born and its rules, you can click here. (*if you click remember everything will be written in Spanish) 😉

Happy Wednesday !!

2017 The year we conquer ourselves

Of the many new year resolutions we could have chosen, this 2017, we have decided to conquer ourselves. Let me explain why:

We decided to move to UK to improve our financial stability, which unfortunately we didn’t have when we lived in Barcelona, despite of having pursued our respected professional paths. This coming June it will be 4 years since we packed our stuff and relocated from sunny Mediterranean city to Manchester wet valley. We feel we have achieved that goal in the sense we can now provide for our own family within our means. You won’t see me wearing expensive outfits or going out to luxurious places but we’re actually quite a humble family in terms of materials things anyway, and if I could wear my pjs all the time I would be the happiest woman on earth…haha

“God give me strength to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom

to know the difference. “

We still don’t feel we have reached our full potential though, or that have got out the most of this immigrating experience. After laying it all out on one of my most recent posts “Confessions of a frustrated immigrant” we have decided to be the agents of our choices. Conquer ourselves for us means overcoming the weaknesses that won’t let us grow in every way.

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For example, I could tell you that I want to lose weight and feel better with my physical appearance but my problem doesn’t have to do with food really, it has more to do with my diligence, my commitment and my perseverance to endure to the end. My constancy to not move away from my priorities.

This is the year when we need to be our very best. The year, where no matter the circumstances, I will build my character, I will be stronger, I will be a powerful woman. Not with the “power” that maybe the world can think of, but with the power to love others, to love myself, to be diligent, to understand God’s will for me and my family. This 2017 is all about US. It’s all about shaping our personalities so that we cannot only maintain our stability but have the power to move forward, to feel fulfilled with ourselves.

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Are you ready for 2017? What has been your approach to the new year? Share it with us!

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Confessions of a frustrated immigrant

Or should I say ‘expat’? Why when British leave abroad call themselves ‘expats’ and when we come here we are called ‘immigrants’? (By the way, I said British and I could have said Americans…) Either way, put whatever other nationality you can think of when mentioning the word ‘expat’.

According to the dictionary:

An ‘expat’ is  “a person who is voluntarily absent from home or country.” while 

An ‘immigrant’ is “a person who comes to a country in order to settle there.”

So they both leave their countries of origin because they chose to, otherwise they would be “refugees” being forced to do it. And they’re both trying to settle in a new place.

Is not that what we are all trying to do? It seems to me that the connotations are different though. Being an immigrant many times is related to all the negativeness of crime, taking advantage of benefits, lack of education, resources… If you’re lucky enough to come from a touristic place at least they will know where it’s located and the wonderful holidays they spend there. If not, good luck then. 

On the other hand, when you’re an expat, you have probably relocated because of a career improvement, your economical situation is much better and you don’t come to the country to take advantage of it but to contribute to it.

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Oh wait…aren’t immigrants doing that too? Working hard, accepting low-paid jobs that nobody else wants and moving the economy forward so we all benefit from it? I think that’s called “contribution” too. Yeah, I thought so.

Did you know that on our first year in UK

I tried to set up my own business and make myself a place within my professional industry? Back then we used to attend some Networking events to promote the business a little bit. One time, I came across a gentleman from the Marketing Association that told me quite clear that I needed to get a “proper education”. I explained to him I had a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Barcelona. (didn’t buy my degree in ebay, you know…) I worked and studied hard during 4 years to become a good professional. He belittled me, my studies and everything that I had worked for, just to sell me one of his courses…I left that room thinking  – you have all this knowledge about marketing, but let me tell you, you’re rubbish getting a sale done. I wouldn’t buy from you even if I had had the money to do it!-

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My husband has broken his back in every job position he is been. He’s helped beyond his duties, his responsibilities. Because of that he’s been taken advantage many times, never getting the promotion he deserved so they could keep paying him a low wage.

How do you think it feels when you come to a country full of expectations, well-prepared and you accept any non-qualified job so that you can provide for your family?

Bills need to be paid. And you can always feel proud of an honest job, regardless of your salary, category or whatever. But if on top of that you come across people that think that your profession is a hobby and what you do as a job is who you are, then, my dear readers, it becomes more and more frustrating.

Let me tell you, my husband is not a “whopper-maker” He worked hard and studied even harder when we lived in Barcelona. He got to finish his career while working at the same time, having a first child, providing for both of us, studying in Catalan, not his mother tongue (which is Portuguese), and on top of all that, getting good qualifications. He literally sweated every day. Leaving early in the morning and coming home late at night. His passion, his career, his drive is not to prepare burgers. He does a good job there because he is a responsible man, but he is so much more than that.

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I am so so tired of people who belittle you, who doesn’t see beyond a uniform or a desk. So tired of feeling that we can’t reach where we want. I should probably have written this some other day when I’m not full of pain killers and antibiotics, but this is real. The feeling is real.

Sometimes I wonder, who am I looking the praises from?

Do I really need that tap on the back from acquaintances, friends, family or even strangers? I know where to look up. But sometimes, it gets so hard. It gets so difficult to keep smiling to the ones who are rude to you, who don’t treat you well. I was telling Sam today – I can’t help be who I am. I am a kind person- It doesn’t come out that easy to shout back, say something rude or abrupt to people. Sometimes I wish I could do it, honestly. And I, obviously, have my rough days, I am no angel. But I don’t understand…of all the nice people that are in the world, how come I come across all the nasty ones?! I must have a magnet for them! A sign that says…”Yes, please, over here! Ignore me, shout at me, belittle me, it doesn’t matter, I’m an immigrant, right?!”

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Oh gosh, honestly, I wish I could finish this post on a positive tone. Believe me, I’m trying. This week I was thinking about my parents. About my parents in law too. Did you know that my father-in-law, who is a well experienced, educated man who pursued a career in economics and holds many titles, is currently working serving tables? When my parents arrived to Barcelona from Peru, I was just a baby, and couldn’t understand all their challenges. Both of my parents pursued different careers that due to family circumstances couldn’t finish. But they tried hard. They’ve currently got their own business, which has been running for a long time. They went through many hard, unbearable jobs to get to that point, though. Cleaning, looking after the elderly, working on weekends…the list is long.

I suppose that my aim with this post, apart from getting it out off my chest,  is to encourage everyone to see beyond the person.

Don’t just look at the outward appearance. Behind that tray, there’s probably someone who is dreaming to be something else, who has even prepared to be something else. Behind the lady that cleans your house or looks after your children, there’s maybe a fashion designer, or a doctor! Let’s start looking at people in the eyes and search for who they really are. Don’t be misguided by a job title, a salary or an outfit. Let’s be humans looking at other humans. Praising our efforts one another, because you know what, sometimes, this can be a terrible world to live in, but if we can find some support on another’s shoulder, life will get easier for everyone.

Again, maybe not my best week to write, but I needed to tell you this, I needed to tell you that you are GREAT, that we cannot let others, people, organisations, or society define who we really are or who we dreamed of to become. We can hope for better things to come, because we are worthy of them, because if we keep working hard, the tap on our back won’t be necessary, the results of our efforts will make us feel proud of who we are and what we do.

Since there’s nothing more positive than kittens and I can’t finish my post with an “all is happy” attitude, let me show you this hilarious video, completely unrelated to the post I just wrote.

Let’s laugh together at this poor little kitty…someone tried of its own medicine…hahaha

Our not so typical advent calendar

Christmas is just around the corner! You don’t seem like a fanatic any more if you’ve already set up all the decorations at home. It’s time then to get your advent calendar ready for the main date. This year our church, the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has launched a great way to  follow the advent calendar, called #LIGHTtheWORLD. We don’t push our faith to anyone, and trust me when I say this is not the intention of this post.

But doing something good for others I think is the givesall-quoteessence of not only this Holiday Season but also the essence of a happy life. So why is this advent calendar any different to others? Well, on this one you don’t get ready for Christmas eating chocolate and treating yourself, on this one every day, starting on December 1styou will do something good for another person/s.

 

 

25 days of service in preparation to December 25th

Our family is definitely on board here! Many times we’ve already said we are far, quite far, from perfect, but we do try to follow Jesus Christ example, whom for us, was perfect. You might not be religious at all and maybe He doesn’t mean anything to you. However I’m pretty sure you will have someone in your life that you admire, that you respect and that you probably think has incredible attributes that you would like to emulate. Whoever is your role model you can think on that person and experience this special advent calendar.

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We will try to involve our children too so they learn they importance of thinking of others and helping out the ones in need. There are many ways you can do this. Small simple acts of kindness that you do everyday will help you remember what matters the most during Christmas time.

First day for example is all about “lifting someone’s burden”

So you may help an elderly person do their shopping or you could give some food to someone in need. You can maybe speak with a friend that you know is feeling a bit low. There are so many things we can do. Could you imagine we all do something for another person? We think of others first…Imagine we do this worldwide…wouldn’t it be amazing?!

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We’re excited to start this not so typical advent calendar. Obviously you can help others anytime of the year, but I think that making an effort on a season that has been so inundated with consumerism is the perfect way to get rid of selfishness feelings and stress. Anyway, whatever your preparation towards Christmas we hope you make the most out of it! And if you decide to give this advent calendar a go don’t forget to tell us how it went. We can all support one another in case we run out of ideas! 😉

 

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Why we are the greatest mums

There is a song stuck in the back of my head lately, and that’s The Greatest, from Sia. My husband told me the other day that I probably like her music since it’s not the first time I’m talking about her. I thin he’s right. After a few years,  I’ve realised that yes, I like that singer.

Anyway, I’m not planning on talking about music today, nor that I wouldn’t mind cause I love the way music inspires us, brings memories to our minds, situations, smells, people…On this occasion though I want to share with you my thoughts on why we are the greatest mums. I’m including YOU too (sorry if you’re a male reading this, nothing sexiest here -just pass the message to a mum or apply it to yourself, either way it’s fine! :D)

SO..Why we are the greatest mums?

Let me explain it to you using Sia’s words:

Uh-oh, running out of breath, but I
Oh, I, I got stamina

How many times I’ve felt that I’m running out of breath! Too many since having our second child, who is 9 months old now. This week everything felt like chaos at home, all the clean clothes piled up, dirty ones spread all over the place, floor waiting to be hoovered, dishes multiplying themselves…where was I, oh well, I was chasing my son making sure he wouldn’t choke himself with the things that he picks up from the floor, I was helping my daughter sound the letters in a language that is not my mother tongue, I was sitting down with Sam, trying to help him organise his own goals and projects.

So many things…think about yours, you probably have a long list too. Let me tell you what you also have. You’ve got stamina, just as I did too. I was about to lose it this week thinking too myself, too many things, no time, and I feel SO tired, I don’t think I can go on. Then I realise that as soon as I had that thought something else got my attention (probably baby needing to be fed) and you know what, I kept going. I went and did the next thing on my list.

STAMINA is about keep going. Do what you’re supposed to do. Have the strength, the energy to achieve what you’ve planned. Why we, mums, are the greatest? Because we ALWAYS keep going. Being the greatest is not an easy job, nobody said it would be…so let me move on to the next bit of the song.

Uh-oh, running now, I close my eyes
Well, oh, I got stamina

We are the greatest because we know when to close our eyes and focus on what’s more important. Wonder-woman is a sci-fi character. Mums are the real super-women. Countless times I needed to close my eyes and see things as they really are. Again. We’ve got STAMINA, we can handle it. Life gets too heavy sometimes to carry all on our shoulders, but we have family, friends, we, particularly, have GOD as well, but even if you don’t have any of those things, you know what you’ve got? You’ve got stamina. Our own worth as human beings, regardless of our circumstances, should be enough to help us keep going.

 

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far from perfect but still the greatest.. 😉

 

And uh-oh, I see another mountain to climb
But I, I, I got stamina

Being a mum is a constant challenge, whenever you think you’ve mastered something with your son or daughter there it comes, another mountain to climb. But, us mums, don’t get scared of those mountains, we dare them. We know that life can be a constant uphill path, otherwise we’d be stuck, don’t grow, don’t learn, and that is not good. You know the only people who are greater than mums? Grandmas, not for the sake of it, but because they’ve experienced motherhood, have the right perspective and enjoy the fruits of their children. They care for what matters the most. They do have stamina as well, and we can learn from them.

Uh-oh, I need another lover, be mine
Cause I, I, I got stamina

No please! No breaking marriages here, don’t add another lover to your life if you’ve already got one. 😉 But this just makes me think that we need to find the passion on the things we do. If we are living life everyday, just because we are breathing and we are just moving with the flow we are missing the greatest. Life is meant to have joy. I’ve discovered a new passion sharing my feelings and stories with all of you on this blog. We, mums, are the greatest because we find different ways to motivate ourselves, to help us keep going, to have stamina.

so mums…

Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no

 

I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest

Are you alive? (rhetorical question obviously -I’m not talking to the walking dead) THEN You are the greatest. You’ve got STAMINA to keep going. I am and we are the greatest mums, cause you know what, no matter how many times we fail, how many times we think enough is enough, or how many we’d like to just give up, or sleep, no matter all that, we’ve got stamina. We wake up every day. We are strong and we can do it. Remind those words to yourself daily, you are alive, you’re the greatest, if you don’t feel like it, you’ve got the opportunity to amend it. I wouldn’t suggest that if I didn’t apply it to myself. Of the many times I’ve felt too tired for anything, I’m still here, I’m alive, and I’m the greatest.

 



conversations-with-a-5-year-old

Conversations with a 5 year old #series -month 2

We’re back again with some of our funniest conversations with a 5 year old! It’s been a month since we started keeping a record and sharing with you a glance of what our little cheeky girl can come up with. If you want you can check what she said on our first post of this series.

Let’s get started then…

at bath time

As usual I’m taking advantage of this time of relax to ask her questions about school, who did she play with and how it went, in general. She suddenly tells me the other day:

-Mummy, I think I want to marry XX (little boy from her class)

Me: – Oh really? Well you know what your dad and I think about that, he needs to be a good boy. Is this XX a good boy, J?

She stops to think and replies:

– Yes, mummy! I think he’s a good boy cause you know what, when Mrs. XXX (their teacher) asks us to be quiet and does this silence-clipart he gets quiet and does it too.

Oh well, you can tell she does identify a good attribute, obedience, right? Now, let’s see what we will have to face as she grows up!

going back home from school

When picking her up last week they gave us a letter saying they were going to sell “poppies” for remembrance day at school. I think they were asking for a 50p donation, something like that. So I’m explaining J that the next day she will bring some money to school so she can buy the poppies. She gets very excited, by this time I’m thinking she’s getting very excited for the idea of bringing money and buying something by herself. So I tell her:

-J, how many poppies do you want to buy? Shall we buy 2?

-YES YES YES mummy!! I want to buy 2 poppies! oh mummy, I’m so excited, I’m going to play with them so much!

(When she says “play” I then realise that something is not right and that we might not be talking about the same thing)

-Wait, do you want to “play” with the flowers?

-What? What flowers?! What are you talking about mummy? I want to play with the PUPPIES!!

#lol and #lol my poor little girl thought we were going to buy two puppies for 1 pound! haha..I wish…

puppies-no

sorry! not this time.. T_T

at home playing with the doll house 

This is the most recent one! Yesterday we were playing with her little people and doll house. I suppose every parent has done this, since children usually love role playing and making silly voices. It can get very interesting to hear what they have to say through their toys. I strongly recommend it .So anyway, J does have fun and last night, on our relaxing family activity, we were playing with peppa pig and her friends.

So, here’s the situation: Peppa Pig is driving the car and all of a sudden she runs over Danny Dog.

J: – Quick! Danny dog just had an accident, we need to go to the hospital. Hurry!

At the doll house (now Hospital) – I am The Doctor

– Sorry Peppa, but Danny has suffered a terrible accident, and he’ll need to have surgery. His liver has been damaged and he will need a transplant. We need to get him a new liver..

Peppa (J) replies – OH! Don’t worry, I’ve got one in the car! Actually, let me see cause I think I’ve got two livers!

ahahhahah, seriously? I must assume that she most likely have no clue what a liver is, otherwise I’d worry why my daughter thinks we can be carrying organs around in our car! #lol

Anyway…THE END! Hope you enjoyed them, I do have a good laugh myself just remembering them, so hopefully they stole a smile from you too 😉

What are your children’s latest witticisms? Share them with us!

 

Have you got sunshine in your pocket? Trolls #MovieReview

If you’ve been reading us for a while you already know that we are movie and series lovers! So we’ve thought on sharing some of our love for movies with you on our #moviereview posts!

Better than talking just about the movie we want to share with you what we’ve learnt from it, cause you know, there’s always a life lesson that you can put into practise if you watch and listen carefully to it. Just like we did for Alice through the looking glass movie.

Oh by the way, our little disclaimer here, we haven’t been “lucky” enough for anyone to give us free tickets to the cinema so our review is just for the pleasure of it, and hopefully you will find it useful too.  If, by any chance, we would be invited to review something we will add our usual disclaimer 😉

trolls-2016-movie-review

So…which movie have we chosen this time? If you’ve got little ones and have a sticky memory for soundtracks you already guessed it..yep, Trolls, the last animation movie from Dreamworks. I’m not going to spoil you with any details, but you can expect lots of cool songs, old and new, good sense of humour for little ones AND grown-ups and very colourful, energetic characters. It is one of those films that everyone can enjoy.

What did we learn from the trolls?

These little cute creatures live in the forest in a state of never ending happiness, while the Bergens are these grumpy beings that don’t know how to be happy until they find out that if they eat a troll they will experience “true happiness”.

trolls movie review

In the beginning of this week I was thinking about this post, about how I was going to tell you how to be happy, cause you know, I was feeling happy myself, and thought yeah! maybe this will help someone…OK now I know that I am the one that needed this post the most. For various reasons I felt more than justified to feel as “grumpy” or even as sad as the Bergens. Thinking to myself, oh, if hubby had another type of job, or oh! if I could have someone to help me with the house chores, or If I could feel less tired… I didn’t realise then I was looking for my “troll” to experience “true happiness” Thinking that if I only had “that thing” I would be able to know what happiness feels like.

If you see the movie, you will understand that the trolls don’t live on a state of never ending happiness, they live on a state of never ending good attitude. The way how we react to things, how we face the challenges of life will make us find sunshine in our pockets, or empty dirty pockets. It is up to us. I can say that as for today, I have been able to find sunshine, while watching my kids laugh, and me laughing with them, while getting excited with hubby watching one of the last episodes of a series we are hooked at or just appreciating that I no longer have back pain any more.

There is sunshine in your pockets, you can’t stop the feeling, so just dance dance dance…

Just like our little J at this kids flashmob:

(created by Z-arts during half term holidays, at Manchester Printworks. )

 

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internet safety

How safe are your children online?

We recently saw an ad at the cinema that made us question how safe are our children online. Are they really protected? The truth is we still haven’t got to those dangerous teen years with our little ones but it is better to create good habits from an early stage we think.

Here’s the ad we’re talking about…

So “The Internet is like a magician hat” right? with all sorts of things in it. How can we protect our children from the harmful bits then? We think that when they’re little there are many ways to modify your children devices to make them Internet safe. One of the apps we’ve mentioned in the past is YouTube Kids where you can choose the type of content they have access to, according to age or even block the search option so just a grown-up can do it. It gives you some peace of mind because you never know what strange videos they can come across.

You’ve got also other options depending on your broadband provider or the type of device you’ve got. We for example have put some restrictions on the iPad because that’s mostly used by the children, and when I say children I mean mainly J, who is 5 years old, our 8 months old baby boy just chews the case..no danger in that! at least not online wise..haha

But you know what we noticed on this ad as well, when they say “parents don’t know what their children do” Oh well, let me tell you, if the boy is upstairs in his room by himself finding out what’s on that “hat” while you are on the living room doing something else no surprise you don’t know what “they’re doing” Sam and I think that it’s better to be safe than sorry and therefore need to create a safe comfortable environment where for example there’s no laptop or tv in the room, but it is always in a common area of the house so the not so child anymore can browse things online and we can be around, so if for any reason, something strange comes up we are there. It is also true that teens get curious about many things but the chances they will want to search for anything weird will probably decrease if we are around, don’t you think?

With this I am not saying we will be the shadow of our children and they won’t make their own choices. Agency is free for everyone and they can have access to anything in many other places that not our house, but even if we cannot control what others do we can make sure that our home is a safe place, a refuge for them from the nasty things of this world.  I think that’s what every parent wants for their children. That’s at least what we want, provide safety, protection and love in the house, online, offline and anywhere where we can possibly put our little bit.

What do you do to make them feel Internet safe? Any other suggestions or comments?